News on Clark

Hi Everyone. C was supposed to post this, but he fell asleep, and not sure how best to handle this. So, I am taking a stab at it. He fell at work (in early May) off a ten foot ladder and got some staples in his head. They did a CT scan and found that his head was fine but discovered clusters in the lymph nodes in his neck they wanted to have immediately checked. He was all ready to have this surgery done in June, but they postponed it due to the fact the doctor could not feel the swollen nodes. (Sigh of relief!) They did another scan to find they were still there and possibly slightly enlarged. Last Wednesday they did a biopsy, and took out two nodes. We went to the Doctor today and they found that he has Low grade Lymphoma and specifically CLL. (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.) We were told it is chronic therefore no cure, but the prognosis is usually good. We are hoping we caught it early. They do not know how long he has had this. It is a slow growing “lazy” cancer. We are in the early stage of this, and will know more next Tuesday when we get the results of the new blood work and scans that he had done today. He had dyes that will identify the markers. They are looking to see if the white cell count is up, if any other lymph nodes are affected, if spleen is enlarged, and they will finally do a bone marrow test. It sounds worse than it probably is. As I said, they say it is slow growing, and many times they just watch it and do not even treat with medications. We do not yet know if that is the case with Clark. We have not been given a stage of his CLL, and he and I are just trying to learn all we can about CLL. Everyone will probably have many questions. We will try to answer them as we gain information. I ask for your prayers and love for him. We think it’s going to be okay, and we are VERY positive and optimistic.

UPDATE: cancer is stage 1 and slow growing, no other swollen lymph nodes… they are doing nothing to treat it, just monitoring his blood count to watch his bone marrow degradation.

4 Comments

  1. Avatar The Carroll's said:

    Thanks for the update. We are sorry you are having to go through this. If you need anything just let us know. We are here for you and are always happy to help. We love you guys and are saying lots of prayers that this will go smoothly and Clark with be healthy real soon!

    September 24, 2012
  2. Avatar Kenny, Sue, Kameron, and Kelsie said:

    We are all thinking of you. We love you. If there is anything you need, we are a phone call away. Thanks for the information- will talk to you later today.

    September 20, 2012
  3. klds klds said:

    Prayers and thoughts with you- here if you need anything! We love you!

    September 19, 2012
  4. klds klds said:

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is cancer of a type of white blood cells called lymphocytes.

    Causes

    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) causes a slow increase in white blood cells called B lymphocytes, or B cells. Cancer cells spread through the blood and bone marrow, and can also affect the lymph nodes or other organs such as the liver and spleen. CLL eventually causes the bone marrow to fail.
    IThe cause of CLL is unknown. There is no link to radiation, cancer-causing chemicals, or viruses.
    This cancer mostly affects adults, around age 70. It is rarely seen under age 40. The disease is more common in Jewish people of Russian or East European descent.

    Symptoms

    Symptoms usually develop slowly over time. Many cases of CLL are detected by blood tests done in people for other reasons or who do not have any symptoms.
    Symptoms that can occur include:
    Abnormal bruising (occurs late in the disease)
    Enlarged lymph nodes, liver, or spleen
    Excessive sweating, night sweats
    Fatigue
    Fever
    Infections that keep coming back (recur)
    Loss of appetite or becoming full too quickly (early satiety)
    Unintentional weight loss

    Exams and Tests

    Patients with CLL usually have a higher-than-normal white blood cell count.
    Tests to diagnose and assess CLL include:
    Complete blood count (CBC) with white blood cell differential
    Bone marrow biopsy
    CT scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis
    Immunoglobulin testing
    Flow cytometry test of the white blood cells
    If your doctor discovers you have CLL, tests will be done to see how much the cancer has spread. This is called staging.
    There are two systems used to stage CLL:
    The Rai system uses numbers 0 to IV to group CLL into low-, intermediate-, and high-risk categories. Generally, the higher the stage number, the more advanced the cancer.
    The Binet system uses letters A-C to stage CLL according to how many lymph node groups are involved and whether you have a drop in the number of red blood cells or platelets.
    Some newer tests look at the chromosomes inside the cancer cells. The results can help your doctor better determine your treatment.

    Treatment

    If you have early stage CLL, your doctor will closely monitor you. Usually, no medicines or other treatment is given for early-stage CLL, unless you have:
    A high-risk type of CLL
    Infections that keep coming back
    Leukemia that is rapidly getting worse
    Low blood and platelet counts
    Fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, or night sweats
    Painful swollen lymph nodes
    Chemotherapy medicines are used to treat CLL. Common ones include:
    Fludarabine, chlorambucil, cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), and rituximab (Rituxan) used alone or together.
    Alemtuzumab (Campath) for patients with CLL that did not get better with fludarabine.
    Bendamustine for patients with CLL that has come back after initial treatment.
    Rarely, radiation may be used for painfully enlarged lymph nodes. Blood transfusions or platelet transfusions may be required if blood counts are low.
    Bone marrow or stem cell transplantation may be used in younger patients with advanced or high-risk CLL. A transplant is the only therapy that offers a potential cure for CLL.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    How well a patient does depends on the stage of the cancer. About half of patients diagnosed in the early stages of the disease live more than 12 years.

    Possible Complications

    Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
    Bleeding from low platelet count
    Hypogammaglobulinemia, a condition in which you have lower levels of antibodies, which increases your risk of infection
    Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
    Infections that keep coming back (recur)
    Overwhelming fatigue
    Other cancers, including a much more aggressive lymphoma (Richter’s transformation)
    Side effects of chemotherapy

    September 19, 2012

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